“Death of the Family” spans multiple titles: Batman, Batman and Robin, Teen Titans, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Nightwing, and Batgirl. A MASSIVE story in which the Joker attacks every member of the Bat-Family in an attempt to prove to Batman that they are weakening him–that he is better off without support or love, that the only person who truly understand him is the Joker himself. Deeply psychological–not just because of the villain–but because the story also takes the time to dive into the darkest corners of each Bat’s psyche. Oh… and did I mention that Joker’s face has been cut off and he’d sewn it back on? Yeah… no one does “terrifying” like the Joker.
“No, no, no, it’s darkness–it’s like that eclipse the other day, don’t you see? The Bat is the sun–the fiery star–you and the others are the moon–blocking his light–he can’t shine on me and me on him if you’re all in the way of his ray!”*
Dark Nights Metal (If you think the Joker is scary… imagine a Jokerized Batman!) The Killing Joke and Batman: Death in the Family (More tragic takes on the Joker’s influence. Have some tissues ready, especially for Death in the Family. But if you’re wanting landmark Joker stories, both of these fit the bill.)
Snyder, Scott. Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family. Burbank, CA, DC Comics, 2014.
*Tomasi, Peter J. Batman and Robin: Vol. 3: Death of the Family. New York, DC Comics, 2013.